This is a recipe that is a classic Middle Eastern/Greek dish, the egg-lemon sauce is very Greek, some use oil and lemon others use sour cream. Herbs are what really make this food shine so be very generous with the fresh herbs. Pine nuts work really well but I have used walnuts with great results. I use wild or brown rice which need about 10 minutes of pre cooking. I use brown rice cause I love the texture, nutty taste and nutrition they provide. Please comment and let me know how this worked out for you, it is time consuming rolling all those dolmathes but put on the radio and have some fun, it’s well worth it.
1 lb. ground beef or lamb
1 jar of preserved grape leaves
8 cloves garlic diced, divided in half
1 cup long grain white rice
1/2 cup wild or brown rice
2 tbsp dried mint or 1 tbsp fresh
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch fresh parsley chopped
1/2 bunch fresh dill chopped
1tbsp. dried oregano
1 handfull pine nuts lightly toasted
juice of 1 lemon juice
2 eggs (one for sauce)
1 tbsp sea salt
pepper to taste
Simmer wild or brown rice in water for 10 minutes with a little bit of oil. Drain and let cool, then add to mixture of white rice and meat. Knead all ingredients in a bowl to combine except lemon juice and 1 of the eggs and 4 cloves garlic.
toss pine nuts in non-stick skillet on high for one minute do not burn or brown too much, just enough to extract great flavour, then cut them or crush if preferred and add them to rice and meat mixture.
There is no need to boil or blanch the grape leaves unless the jar instructs you to do so. Drain leaves very well, rinse with cold water and separate them as you rinse. On a large cutting board or work surface roll grape leaves up from the stem (cut off and discard stems if long) with small spoonfull of rice mixture, sealing by folding in the sides before completely sealing the top.
In a large pot with a flat bottom pour in some olive oil and line with
some defective grape leaves that have holes.
Arrange dolmades in circular pattern at bottom of pot seam side down building up as far as the come. Do this as you roll them, if convenient. Pour water over dolmades just enough to cover, put a heavy plate on top of dolmades so they stay down and simmer steam over low heat for 1 hour. After an hour take one out and taste to make sure that rice has cooked through
beat egg and whisk egg with lemon juice and 4 cloves garlic.
Remove dolmades from heat. Pour some of the liquid from the pot a little bit at a time into egg/lemon sauce while whisking vigorously, whisk in more liquid until all used up and keep stirring until frothy and add olive oil to sauce.
Take dolmathes out of pot into a bowl pour egg-lemon sauce over them. If you are saving some dolmathes for later refrigerate without avgolemono sauce.
1 jar of grape leaves usually yealds 30-40 grape leaves
For a vegetarian version substitute diced, carrot, celery, onion, spinach and zucchini instead of meat.